You may not have a name as wild as Zerubbabel but my guess is you know what some of the feelings he was going through feel like. Zerrubbabel is a leader of 50,000 exiles and has the opportunity to rebuild the temple. They are coming back from Babylon and everything is going great until it’s not going great!
Let’s put this in 1st person. You have an assignment from God. Maybe you are stuck or delayed and can’t seem to move forward. You have tried everything you can in the natural.
Back to Zerubbabel. God gives instruction to build the temple. You can imagine Zerubbabel’s excitement! This is going to be great! At first there was zeal among the people. They wanted to dive in and gave their full support to the project. What happens next? Opposition! Samaria and Persia begin to come against them. The government begins to halt construction. We then see a preoccupation with energies being drained.
Can you relate to this at all? The Lord tells you to do something. Not only is there opposition but the experience itself drains and overwhelms you.
In Zerubbabel’s story there is also comparison between his project and Solomon’s project. People start slinging comments: “You’re doing alright Z, but Solomon would have done it like this. King Solomon would have had this done months ago! What’s wrong with you?” Discouragement that the project is never going to finish begins to settle in. Zerubbabel’s backing, support and united front quickly turned into voices of judgement and criticism. Things became chaotic and it’s not shaping up to be the exciting project that he thought it was going to be.
We will always come to places where discouragement is a choice. Like Zerubbabel, we need to confront those barriers with recognition of God’s grace in order to bring forth fruit and redemption to those circumstances.
What do I mean when I speak of grace in this context? It is not our power but God’s that moves the obstacles. God tells Zerubbabel it is not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit. You can put it this way - it is not by human manipulation, or human intelligence. It is not by what a great business man/women you are. It is not by what great school you went to. The battle will be won by the Spirit of the Lord.
He goes on to promise that the mountains will become plains. God commanded Zerubbabel to do something specific. In essence God also commanded Zerubbabel to trust in Him. To seek Him. To humble himself before God so that nothing could stop him. God was proving in this story that it is not by your might, but by mine says the Lord!
To release grace we must act. In the midst of opposition, we are to shout grace! There is an active response moving forward to the extravagant grace of God. There’s a part in the story where God instructs Zerubbabel to go to the capstone and begin shouting grace to it. The capstone symbolized the finished work of the temple. God is saying “you do the shouting, and I’ll release the power!” As Zerubbabel shouted grace to the capstone he came into agreement with the spoken word of the Lord: it’s not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord!
When we shout grace we surrender. It is not a surrender of work or partnership with God, but a surrender of the will, submitting to active forward movement with Him.
Today I challenge you in this - instead of letting the mountain speak to you, begin to speak to the mountain. Start telling the mountain about your God. Start telling that mountain about His goodness and His covenant. With shouts of grace to the mountains in front of you begin to move forward with God’s promises and purpose.